Getting the Vaccine FAQ


When and where can I get vaccinated?

As of June 24, 2022, anyone aged 6 months or older can get vaccinated. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are the vaccines currently approved for individuals aged 6 months and older. The Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen and Novavax vaccines are currently only approved for patients aged 18 years or older.

  • In New Hampshire: As of July 1, 2021, all state-managed fixed vaccination sites are closed. There are more than 400 locations across the State offering COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Locations offering the vaccine can be found here.
  • In Vermont: Parents can register on their children’s behalf, or can add them as a dependent on their own account.

There are many ways for you to schedule your COVID-19 vaccines. You can access vaccines at:

  • Health care providers and hospitals
  • School clinics organized by New Hampshire regional public health clinics
  • Local pharmacies such as CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens 

You can also find COVID-19 vaccines and boosters near you by:

How much does the vaccine cost?

The COVID-19 vaccines are currently covered by the federal government and are available at no cost.

How is the vaccination given?

The Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Novavax COVID-19 vaccines are given in 2 doses, injected into the muscles of the upper arm, similar to a flu shot (intramuscularly). The COVID-19 Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine is given as a single dose, also injected into the muscles of the upper arm.

How many doses of COVID-19 vaccine will I need to complete my primary series?

The number of vaccine doses you need to complete your primary series depends on which vaccine you receive.

This information is summarized in the following table.

COVID-19 vaccination schedule for people who are NOT moderately or severely immunocompromised

Primary series vaccine manufacturer Age group (years) Number of doses in primary series Number of booster doses Time between primary series doses Time between primary series and booster Time between 1st booster and 2nd booster
Pfizer-BioNTech 6 months to 4 years 3 N/A 1st and 2nd dose, 3 to 8 weeks; 
2nd and 3rd dose, ≥ 8 weeks
N/A N/A
Pfizer-BioNTech 5 to 49 2 1 3 to 8 weeks** ≥ 5 months N/A
Pfizer-BioNTech 50 or older 2 2 3 to 8 weeks after 1st dose ≥ 5 months ≥ 4 months
Moderna 6 months to 49 years 2 1 4 to 8 weeks** ≥ 5 months N/A
Moderna 50 or older 2 2 4 to 8 weeks after 1st dose ≥ 5 months ≥ 4 months
Janssen (J&J) 18 or older 1 1 N/A ≥ 2 months ≥ 4 months***
Novavax 18 or older 2 N/A 3 to 8 weeks N/A N/A

* For the vaccination schedule for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, see “Guidance for COVID-19 vaccination for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised,” below.

** An 8-week interval (period of time) between the first and second dose may be optimal for some people ages 12 years and older, especially for males ages 12 to 39 years. A shorter interval (3 weeks for Pfizer-BioNTech; 4 weeks for Moderna) between the first and second doses remains the recommended interval for:

  • People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised
  • Adults ages 65 years and older
  • Others who need rapid protection due to increased concern about community transmission or risk of severe disease

*** People ages 18 to 49 years who received the Janssen (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine as both their primary series dose and booster dose may receive an mRNA COVID-19 booster dose at least 4 months after the Janssen (J&J) booster dose. People ages 50 years and older may choose to receive a second booster dose if it has been at least 4 months after the first booster dose.

COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable for your COVID-19 vaccine primary series. If you received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for your first shot, you should get the same product for your second shot. If the mRNA vaccine product given for the first dose is not available or is unknown, either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered.

Guidance for COVID-19 vaccination for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised

People with immunocompromising conditions or people who take immunosuppressive medications or therapies are at increased risk for severe COVID-19. Because the immune response following COVID-19 vaccination may differ in moderately or severely immunocompromised people, specific guidance for this population is provided. Use of mRNA vaccines is preferred.

  • Children 6 months to 4 years old who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive a primary series of 3 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. A booster is not recommended at this time.
  • Children ages 5 through 11 years who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive a primary series of 3 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and a booster at least 3 months after the third dose.
  • People ages 12 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive a total of 4 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The 4 doses are made up of a primary series of 3 doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, plus 1 booster of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (fourth dose).

This information is summarized in the following table.

COVID-19 vaccination schedule for moderately or severely immunocompromised people

Primary series COVID-19 vaccine Age group Number of does in primary series Number of booster doses Time between 1st and 2nd dose Time between 2nd and 3rd dose Time between primary series and booster dose
Pfizer-BioNTech 6 months to 4 years 3 0 3 weeks ≥ 8 weeks ≥ 3 months
Pfizer-BioNTech 5 to 11 years 3 1 3 weeks ≥ 4 weeks ≥ 3 months
Pfizer-BioNTech 12 years or older 3 2 3 weeks ≥ 4 weeks ≥ 3 months, with 1st booster dose
≥ 4 months with 2nd booster dose
Moderna 6 months to 17 years 3 0 4 weeks ≥ 4 weeks N/A
Moderna 18 years and older 3 1 4 weeks ≥ 4 weeks ≥ 3 months
Johnson & Johnson's Janssen 18 years and older 2* 2 4 weeks ≥ 2 months ≥ 4 months
Novavax 18 years and older 2 0 3 weeks N/A N/A

* If you receive the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine, the 2nd dose should be Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

Can I choose which vaccine I receive?

Vaccines are now readily and widely available. You can search for clinics with stock of your desired vaccine. The use of mRNA vaccines is preferred. Children ages 6 months to 17 years old are limited to the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine based on U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA).

If I've already had COVID-19, do I still need the vaccine?

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) states you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you have already had COVID-19. You can learn more about the benefits of getting the vaccine on the CDC website.

How long does protection from the COVID-19 vaccine last?

Scientists are continuing to monitor how long COVID-19 vaccine protection lasts. Recent studies show that protection against the virus may decrease over time. This reduction in protection has led the CDC to recommend that everyone aged 5 years and older get a booster shot after completing their primary vaccination series.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

Do I have to wait to get other vaccines if I'm getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

No. The COVID-19 vaccine may be given with other vaccines regardless of timing. Current experience with administering COVID-19 vaccines at the same time or within 14 days of other vaccines has shown similar effectiveness and side effects.

I was recently diagnosed with COVID-19. When should I receive my COVID-19 vaccine?

Vaccination can be delayed by 3 months from when your symptoms started or, if you had no symptoms, when you received a positive test.

Am I considered fully vaccinated if I was vaccinated in another country?

You are considered fully vaccinated if you:

  • Received any single-dose COVID-19 vaccine series that is authorized or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or listed for emergency use by World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Received any combination of 2 doses of an FDA approved/authorized or WHO emergency use listed (EUL) COVID-19 2-dose series.

The CDC does not recommend mixing different COVID-19 vaccines for the primary series, but the CDC is aware that this is increasingly common in many countries outside of the United States. Therefore, for the interpretation of vaccination records, these people are considered fully vaccinated.

Accepted COVID-19 vaccines

  Vaccines approved or authorized by the FDA Vaccines Listed for Emergency Use (EUL) by the WHO
Single dose Johnson and Johnson's Janssen Johnson and Johnson's Janssen
2-dose series

Moderna
Novavax
Pfizer-BioNTech

AstraZeneca
BIBP/Sinopharm
Convidecia
Covaxin
Covishield
Moderna
Novavax/Covovax
Pfizer-BioNTech
Sinovac

If you received a COVID-19 vaccine that is not authorized or approved by the FDA or listed for emergency use by WHO, you may start over with an FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine. Please note that no data are available on the safety or effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination after receiving a non-FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine. Wait at least 28 days after you received the last dose of the non-FDA-authorized or approved vaccine before receiving an FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine. For more information, visit the CDC's Clinical Considerations web page.

As with vaccines for other diseases, people who are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines are optimally protected. Learn more about staying up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines.

I was treated for COVID-19 with antibody therapy. When should I receive my COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine may be administered without any waiting period after receiving antibody therapy (such as convalescent plasma and/or monoclonal antibodies). However, in people who previously received a COVID-19 vaccine, administration of tixagevimab/cilgavimab (Evusheld™) for pre-exposure prophylaxis should be delayed for at least 2 weeks after vaccination.

Vaccination should be deferred for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, regardless of whether they have symptoms until they have met the criteria to discontinue their isolation.

How long after getting the COVID-19 vaccine should I wait before I donate blood?

According to the FDA and American Red Cross websites, individuals who receive a non-replicating, inactivated or mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine can donate blood without a waiting period. The following vaccines have no waiting period:

  • AstraZeneca
  • Johnson & Johnson's Janssen
  • Moderna
  • Novavax
  • Pfizer-BioNTech

Individuals who received a live attenuated COVID-19 vaccine or do not know what type of COVID-19 vaccine they have received must wait 2 weeks before giving blood.

Where can I get more information?

We understand that there are many questions and we encourage you to consult the following websites for additional information:

Is information about the vaccine available in languages other than English?

The FDA website includes COVID-19 vaccine facts sheets in languages other than English: